Monday, October 10, 2011

Classroom Visitations

One of my favourite works at St. Michael’s is to visit the classrooms and to teach young people religion. Usually each visit takes about 10 to 15 minutes and I love to share stories of the saints with young people and to bless them with holy relics.
On September 15, I talked about Holy Cross.
  • The story of Jesus’ suffering
  • The story of the discovery of the True Cross by St. Helen
  • The meanings of “Relic”
  • Blessing with Relic of the True Cross
On September 21, I talked about Padre Pio.
  • He loved the Mass. He would elevated the Host for 10 minutes during Mass. Though he rarely preached at Mass, his Mass would last 2 hours. But people stilled flocked to attend his Mass, because of his deep devotion and piety. St. Pio himself said there were more dead people (i.e. souls from Purgatory) coming to his Mass than living people.
  • He loved the Confessional. St. Pio could read people heart and recite the sins of the penitent, before the penitent made his/her Confession. During WWII, St. Pio was about to tell people the whereabouts of loved ones who were fighting overseas.   
  • He loved to pray. He would like to be known as “the Friar who prays”. St. Pio prayed many Rosaries each day. He received the gifts of bilocation, sweet odour, and stigmata.
  • We can only admire the extraordinary gifts of Padre Pio, but we can all imitate his love for prayer and Sacraments. Let us strive to pray much and to pray well!
On September 28, I talked about St. Therese the Little Flower. She became holy by doing little things well. She was patient and loving even in difficult moments.
  • She lost her mother at 4
  • Was a touchy and sensitive girl
  • Was seriously ill at 10, and recovered after seeing the statue of Our Lady smiled to her
  • At 14 she receive the grace of controlling herself. She desired to be a saint and to be a nun
  • Became a nun at 15
  • 9 years as a nun doing ordinary things like setting up for Mass, cleaning things, teaching younger nuns, and helping older nuns. She became holy by doing all things well and with love.
  • Died at 24
  • Performed numerous miracles after her death
On October 5 & 6, I talked St. Francis of Assisi
  • He loved animals: preached to birds, and asked a wolf not to hurt people
  • The words “Church” and “Cross” are important for St. Francis
  • The word “Church” like the word “School” can refer to both building and people. The school community is made up of 2 groups of people: teachers and student. The Church community is also made up of 2 groups of people: clergy (priests) and faithful.
  • One day, Christ told St. Francis to repair His Church
  • Francis thought Christ meant the building. So he started fixing church buildings.
  • But eventually it became clear that Christ meant the Church community---the people
  • Francis repaired the Church by loving the Christ on the Cross
  • He followed Christ’s example---poor, forgiving, loving…
  • Our daily “Cross” is anything that is not easy, but we do it or put up with it for love of Christ
  • Our crosses include: homework, housework, getting up and going to bed on time, pray when tired, sickness, and suffering
It is wonderful to see the positive response of the students to the stories and relics of the saints. By the grace of God, may these young people continue to grow in Faith and holiness.